ARTICLE OF THE WEEK.

This first class article is being reproduced from the excellent site of Robinmcalpine.org where it was first published earlier in the week.


Scotland is being asset-stripped

by Robin McAlpine | 1 Feb 2022

Economic policy in Scotland is now firmly Thatcherite in nature – but there is no-one with the will or the power to stop the damage

Please, please, wake up and pay attention to what is happening to Scotland (if you haven’t already). Ask yourself how it is happening. Ask yourself what consent there is for any of it. Ask yourself who could save us.

There is a petrifying rightward lurch taking place in economic policy – and that was from a rightwing starting point (remember, most of the Scottish Government’s economic policy from 2016 to 2021 was passed in a loose coalition with the Scottish Tories against the opposition of every other political party).

Just look at a few days of headlines, the main problem being to know where to start. So let’s start with free ports, an appalling Thatcherite wet-dream of a policy. Enclaves of mainland Scotland which will be free from the tax and regulatory burdens placed on the rest of the nation. This stuff came from the hard right of the Tory party.

The Scottish Government position was led by Ivan McKee, one of a fairly select number of genuinely capable Government Ministers. He said these had to be more than a right-wing ruse and set hard red lines on social and environmental responsibility to make them ‘green ports’. I still thought them ill judged but this was the least-worst version.

He’s just been removed from negotiations, to be replaced by Kate Forbes whose role is now mostly to take dictation from Scotland’s powerful players. The red lines are to be dropped and these Thatcherite playgrounds to be embraced.

Or what about the proposed break-up of Scotland’s national ferry operator? Do you really believe that these are going to end up in the hands of community-based operators? This Government has already handed over NorthLink ferries to Serco. The rest will follow.

Elsewhere, KPMG is going to pull out of bidding for government contracts for a little while during which it will review its own track record of corruption and give itself a light slap on the wrist. So the contracts will go to one of the rest of the Big Four (EY, Deloitte, PWC).

Of course that didn’t stop the Scottish Government from giving the contract to design the National Care Service to… KPMG. Which almost certainly has business relationships with private care home operators or the private equity firms who own them. And who were already under enormous scrutiny over damning evidence that they appeared to have acted fraudulently during the collapse of Carrillion.

There is a petrifying rightward lurch taking place in economic policy – and that was from a rightwing starting point

And of course, there is no way that both the civil servants involved in the contract (the ‘Operating Model Lead’ and the ‘Finance Lead’) recently joint the Scottish Government from KPMG, right? And the other three of the Big Four who continue to suck up the right to make policy in Scotland couldn’t possibly be involved in a total of five current major inquiries into corrupt and fraudulent activity?

The Big Accountants have virtually privatised the civil service such is their reach and the way they have utterly fluid movement of staff back and forward between them and the civil service and its agencies.

Meanwhile the bottle return scheme which has been disgracefully delayed by the Scottish Greens in government because the supermarkets didn’t like it is not only delayed but will no longer be designed by the civil service at all but by another private company.

At least the NHS is safe in Scotland? Except no. The SNP has started floating the idea that the first port of call for the NHS won’t be a GP’s surgery but a plethora of private sector alternatives like chemists (or as we now seem to call them ‘pharmacies’) and physiotherapy practices. The former are already mostly corporate chains and just wait to see what happens when private equity realises the scope for corporate physiotherapy funded from the NHS budget.

And these are only a weekend or so’s worth of news, coming hard on the back of the wholesale betrayal of Scotland’s interests which is encapsulated in the ScotWind privatisation. I could have written something similar a couple of weeks ago and a couple of weeks before that…

So what’s going on? I will delve into this in much more detail soon but this is my basic thesis. In 2007 Scotland’s establishment was drunk on power. It swaggered around behind the behemoths of RBS and Bank of Scotland, feeding off the scraps. The collapse and then departure of both sent shockwaves across Edinburgh. And then the radical nature of 2014’s independence referendum scared them silly.

Suddenly they weren’t medium-sized fish in a big pond – the pond shrunk and so did they. They became medium-sized fish in a small pond. They wanted the radical spirit of 2014 extinguished and they needed to feed voraciously to grow again.

Those who are calling for a rebellion to break out because Boris Johnstone is an idiot need to get real – it is Scotland that needs a rebellion

The conditions were made perfect for this by the current SNP administration. It is without ideology or vision, obsessed only with its own image. It cares not where the pats on the head come from, so long as they come. It tickled the belly of the Scottish liberal commentator class by saying ‘progressive things’. What it didn’t do was actually do many real, progressive things (unless you count setting a target you have no intention of meeting).

It fed the beast that is the Public Sector Empire in Scotland. This is the endless network of civil servants, quangos, agencies, working groups, reviews and ‘delivery partners’ (from Serco to the dependent big-NGO sector). They operate like one entity, shuffling money between themselves, taking big salaries and putting out press releases – and nothing ever changes.

And it simply folded completely to the corporate sector. The Growth Commission is the defining document, a prospectus for independence which could have been written by George Osborne so in debt is it to ‘fiscal rectitude’ (i.e. austerity).

None of this could pass an electoral test in Scotland because it’s all way, way to the right of the views of the population. It is only possible because the cause of independence has been used ruthlessly as a shield to protect this awful administration from the rightful opprobrium it ought to be facing. The cynicism in this is startling.

The fact that the administration constantly briefs that the SNP is a ‘broad church’ to defend this hypocrisy is utter nonsense. The party votes in enormous majorities for the opposite of all of this again and again – and is utterly ignored.

It is impossible to imagine this situation enduring. Another leader could not get away with this unchallenged, another party willing to do it couldn’t get elected. I have been increasingly wondering if the pace is accelerating because the vested interests know that we are moving towards the last days of the Sturgeon era and they won’t get away with it afterwards.

Perhaps, perhaps not. But what is not in doubt is that the finance-consultancy-outsourcing sector is now aggressively asset-stripping Scotland because it can’t get rich from the merger frenzies of the 2000s, and the Scottish Government is handing Scotland to them on a plate.

That people are getting worked up over a silly party and a broken swing is emblematic of the problem. We look at a cartoon villain and tell ourselves that, whatever is happening here, we’re not that bad.

Except we are that bad. We are a broken political system being exploited by powerful financial interests who are being aggressively enabled by a vacuous, narcissistic government.

Those who are calling for a rebellion to break out because Boris Johnstone is an idiot need to get real. It is Scotland that needs a rebellion – and soon, while there’s anything left.

MY COMMENTS

I agree with Robin’s analysis, Scotland is losing out daily. We are losing political power, from a low base to start with, control of our key assets are being whittled away where, if anything, the Scottish Government is aiding the process. Need evidence of that? How else can you explain the removal of Ivan McKee, the most experienced and capable business person in the Scottish Government from this whole process? He was prepared to stand up and publicly pronounce his opposition to these sellouts. Westminster is bullying and exploiting Scotland and the very people we elected to defend our country have no fight in them, are completely blind or totally incompetent to what is happening. There is huge urgency to this, while incompetents sell off natural assets for pennies in PERPETUITY our position weakens by the day. Contrast that reality with the First Minister’s statement that ”time is on Scotland’s side”. We have the wrong team in charge with a completely incompetent manager, hopelessly out of her depth and deeply misguided, tied to an increasingly bizzare divisive strategy that very few in the crowd support. Meanwhile the real game is going on all around us and we don’t have a team on the pitch. Worse the manager sacks the best player we have. If that is not intentional sabotage, it certainly looks like it to me. We need Scots to pay attention, then do something urgently about it, NOW!

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland

BEAT THE CENSORS

Sadly some sites had given up on being pro Indy sites and have decided to become merely pro SNP sites where any criticism of the Party Leader or opposition to the latest policy extremes, results in censorship being applied. This, in the rather over optimistic belief that this will suppress public discussion on such topics. My regular readers have expertly worked out that by regularly sharing articles on this site defeats that censorship and makes it all rather pointless. I really do appreciate such support and free speech in Scotland is remaining unaffected by their juvenile censorship. Indeed it is has become a symptom of weakness and guilt. Quite encouraging really.

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40 thoughts on “ARTICLE OF THE WEEK.

  1. Sabotage, a very good description of what is going on. Between now is not the time and we have plenty of time, we are being totally shafted. It can’t be incompetence, it must be planned, and for sure is being too well executed – by our own “independence” government at that.. So how do we break out from under this self-imposed yoke?

    No amount of carrots and platitudes should be enough to keep us all heads down and trotting on. We have to look up and we have to break out, as soon as possible. As for perpetuity, that is the longest time, but we have to get out and rip all these contracts up and start again.

    Liked by 18 people

  2. Like I said in a previous thread will there be anything left to sell once Sturgeon is finished with Scotland, roll up! roll up! take your pick everything must go is Sturgeons mantra, everything must go except the union.

    We must vote for the Alba party come May, yet many Scots still believe in Sturgeon, and that she’ll deliver independence.

    Liked by 18 people

    1. Ros: “many Scots still believe in Sturgeon, and that she’ll deliver Independence”, I very much fear too many more are indifferent to the prospect, principally owing to the fact that NO opposition is coming from within Holyrood that would alert the Scottish public to what is being sanctioned by this SNP led Government.

      Robin McAlpine is 100% correct in his assertion “that it is Scotland that needs a rebellion – and soon”. We have to get out on the streets long before the month of MAY. Holyrood must be targeted as a key area of protest, Sturgeon MUST be seen to being publicly challenged on her failure to protect SCOTLAND’S ASSETS and the call MUST be made from our territory (HOLYROOD) to an audience in Scotland and beyond.

      Sturgeons character weakness is best illustrated by her chronic narcissism, she can not handle public criticism and we must exploit that flaw by ensuring she receives it loud and clear. STURGEON OUT – INDEPENDENCE IN!

      Liked by 14 people

  3. There is a common picture developing in Scotland that is emulating what is happening at Westminster. Boris is entrenching himself into Westminister being protected by the servitude of his loyal followers. We are seeing the same thing happening in Scotland is this deliberate or is often said incompetence?

    Liked by 11 people

  4. Robin is so right, it’s frightening! However, at this moment in time, we only have the SNP as a political vehicle to Independence( though currently all the wheels are punctured, awaiting fixing). We seem caught up in a scorched earth policy of the SNP’s doing. We have given away our renewable wind power, we are opposed to further development of oil( despite it being needed in the green transition period) to say nothing of its financial benefits. We appear to be standing idly by whilst our power supplies are piped south.

    Liked by 13 people

      1. Aye Iain, that is why we must be at HOLYROOD lobbying , campaigning and if needs be protesting to prevent the theft of this most basic asset on behalf of our future generations of young Scots. ALBA cannae dae it a’ by itself!

        Liked by 13 people

      2. As with other public bodies the well-heeled private equity foxes have been rinnin aroond in the Scottish Water hen hoose for a while, waiting for the big sell-off: https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/About-Us/Who-We-Are/Board-Members

        Making hay too, it seems: CEO remuneration of £378,000/yr, other directors on approx £300,000/yr, and the ‘part-time’ chair on £104,000/yr. (https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/-/media/ScottishWater/Document-Hub/Key-Publications/Annual-Reports/ScottishWaterAnnualReportAccounts202021PerformanceAndProspectsLRFINAL.pdf page 139)

        Liked by 4 people

      3. I agree Alba can’t do this alone – the key issues as I see them are:
        individuals are picked off and malicious prosecution is used to silence and bankrupt those who dissent
        we need to protest in large numbers or it will be arrests all round and off to the pokey and that means well publicised and organised protests.

        We need someone to lead. Our current and crippling issue is the lack of leadership for the widespread dissent. For us, Alba might be an obvious choice? I’m genuinely not sure of the pitfalls and advantages here but we need someone to lead.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. i’m sure Sturgeon once said that Thatcher was her inspiration. She claimed it was because her hatred of Thatcher’s policies was the catalyst for her political interest. I think she lied about the reasons. I believe Thatcher really was a role model for her.

    Liked by 10 people

  6. The British State edifice is crumbling. Just look around you. These last vestiges of empire present glorious opportunity, yet not convinced that any political faction in Scotland fully realises just what an opportunity and the true significance of the paradigm shift which has occurred in the last two years. «Normal» is not in the gift of governments or experts, it is a state of mind, an intellectual construct, just like the concept of independence and its handmaid, freedom. Some, however, do not choose to make the synaptic connexions so effective has been the programing. Alas, the current Scottish establishment seems unware that it too is just a program.

    Liked by 10 people

  7. O/T Iain.

    SNP and Green councillors at Glasgow City council asking the Scottish government to lobby the Westminster government to put the cost of petrol and diesel up to get Scots out of their cars.

    With cost of everything going up and heating fuels set to go through the roof in April this lot are way out of touch and we MUST vote the SNP and Greens out of office in May and vote for the Alba party instead.

    https://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glasgow-news/glasgow-council-set-push-disgraceful-22964909

    Liked by 13 people

    1. Alba need to highlight this in their leafleting – this is impractical, entitled virtue signalling that will hit the pockets of those whose pockets are already empty!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. ‘Public Sector Empire’, wow, I wish I had thought of that term because that’s exactly what it is. Excellent article.

    Unfortunately, people do not know what’s happening, just this week the woman in the garage said to me that ‘hur’, that ‘hur’ being NS, just wants Scotland to be independent. So many people still think that. I put the garage wummin straight but I saw her shut down halfway through.

    Oh, and I was in the garage filling up as so many many of us people who live rurally have to if we want to get about (5 miles from a bus route).

    And my final grump is on the NHS…here in Buchan you cannot get a doctor’s appointment, it is quite simply not possible they are not giving out appointments so if I need to see a doctor I will have to see a private GP. Approx £150-£200 but actually worth paying rather than having to deal with the obnoxious wee upstart that refuses to hand out appointments at the Buchan medical practice…I know its not her fault but by jings does she love the power :-).

    Liked by 10 people

  9. London has been doing this for centuries. As the risk of Independence draws near, they poison the well. They ensure any new country has a difficult start. If they can no longer draw the wealth direct to London then control will pass to private enterprises which will bleed indirectly back to the City of London. Look at any country that left the Empire.

    The above is not a surprise. The SNP being so enthusiastic to embrace such policies is!
    Why is Sturgeon and her clique selling out Scotland? Even stranger is that the members continue to accept it.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. “… Even stranger is that the members continue to accept it… ”

      Their docility cannot be taken for granted forever, Clootie, and Nicola Sturgeon must know that. She has served her purpose. However, bad as it seems up here, Westminster is no better position to withstand this new aggressive capitalism that is no longer state sponsored. It is now the baby of individual people whose wealth, combined, undeclared, rivals that of the small to medium-sized states of the world. These people are probably sociopaths and narcissists – wealth itself, and the ability to use your money to deprive others of theirs, is an intoxicating mix of power and influence that undoubtedly surpasses the most potent fix on the drug market. When these people start to propel themselves into space to try and outrun the devastation to the planet they have caused deliberately and directly, you can make a fair guess that they are not entirely “like us”.

      Liked by 8 people

  10. “… the Scottish Government is handing Scotland to them on a plate… ”

    That part sentence sums it up. This is precisely what has been happening in Scotland for many a long year. Yes, Mr McAlpine, we have been lurching to the right from a position on the right, and this has been happening across the board since the later 1970s when the Tories couldn’t believe their luck in being able to tear down, piece by piece, every post war social achievement. Thatcher and her ilk were salivating at the prospect of forcing the entire UK into a one-size-fits-all position from which they could ensure that the ‘usual suspects’ would make a killing while the usual chumps picked up the tab.

    You are right in that anything that is left of our social contract/welfare state is next in line for the slaughterhouse. It should have been obvious to the SNP government that Brexit would lead to increasing privatisation, and hasn’t the debacle with PPE contracts shown us how efficient and wonderful privatisation is? That is, perhaps, the biggest lie that has ever been perpetrated against the people of every nation: that privatisation of national utilities and services is more efficient and that it benefits everyone. Lies. Utter b***s**t. Since Andrew Wilson was trotted out with his 10-year plan, it became evident to all that the SNP is as much wedded to US-style aggressive capitalism as the UK itself, and the US.

    Those who sit in leadership positions need to look in the mirror. They are a disgrace to Scotland. The oil and gas was thrown away for the price of a groat, and everything else will go the same way. Gutlessness and collaboration, your name is SNP leadership. The only reason you were all elected as the party of independence, was to regain our independence and to start moves that would make Scotland a decent place in which to live. You have failed miserably to protect those over whom you had a duty of care. You have been outmanoeuvred on every possible occasion, you have collaborated with policies that you must have been aware, were detrimental to Scotland and you have done exactly zilch to rectify over three centuries of exploitation and usury. When the banks were brought into national control, they should never have been allowed to return to their private status: separation of retail and investment and a central bank could have been constructed from their ashes. with staff keeping their jobs and local banks remaining. Instead, they were allowed to construct new ways of parting people from their money and running down local services.

    What Mr McAlpine has not mentioned but what requires to be mentioned if we are to understand the new 21st century wave of aggressive capitalism, is the advent of the trans issue. I know, many people do not wish to become embroiled in that issue, but it is central to how the new wave will take over and operate because the people behind it are the money men, and the new wave will involve human beings being exploited in new ways now that the planet’s resources have been all but consumed (although our water awaits!). The Greens, like the SNP, are a waste of space and taxpayers’ money, in common with every Unionist party, too. Scottish independence requires a whole new mindset, and we are slowly creeping towards that. Let’s hope we get there fast enough to save ourselves from the far left/right collaboration that will consume us if not stopped.

    Liked by 14 people

  11. It has slowly (to me) become apparent how deeply neoliberal Sturgeon has become, and of course whatever way forward she marches her pathetic acolytes follow obsequiously and unquestioningly.

    The appalling wind sell off seemed to be the final nail in the coffin of whatever remnants of faith we might have had in the older SNP social democratic model which was largely based on sharing our resources and capital equitably, along the lines of successful social democratic Scandinavian countries. That has been implicit in the SNP for as long as i can remember, and for the very good reason that it chimes with the overall values that Scottish people have.

    It is alarming and depressing in equal measure that this assumption has been subverted from within the SNP who have largely fooled the public who retain the older, shared beliefs in a Scottish Common Weal. It is a hollowed out shell of what it once represented. As far as I can see Sturgeon has elected herself to that global Western political club of shameless grifters for corporate wealth, probably best represented by the likes Hilary Clinton, the ultimate neoliberal wolf in liberal, ‘progressive’ sheep’s clothing.

    What is notable about Sturgeon is that her only recent interventions in public political debate are in the arena of Westminster concerns – Russian oligarchs and the lies of Boris Johnson. Hardly a word about independence and certainly none about the most recent shameful giveaway of Scotland’s resources. This would suggest her desire to be an ‘international’ political figure, seen as part of that consensus of Western commentary on political affairs. Vainglorious of course, but more importantly a very convenient cloak behind which to hide her corresponding move to the now bust neoliberal model of the economy which prioritises global and international wealth, as well as the privatisation Robin details here.

    It is a hideous transformation of a once proud and united movement, almost a grotesque Boris analog in Scotland, and this welcome and excoriating article underlines how necessary it is to get her and her nodding dog clique out of power.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. “the overall values that Scottish people have.”

      This is where the culture and values (and language) of ‘a people’ in self-determination conflict are so important, as distinct from what will always be the different culture and values (and language) of another more dominant ‘people’ and its ‘cultural hegemony’ which is imposed upon them; the latter is adopted by native elites as we increasingly see with Scotland’s elite/establishment of which the SNP hierarchy has become a part.

      As Frantz Fanon noted about culture and values in the context of colonialism: “the future of national culture and its riches (for the colonized people) are equally also part and parcel of the values which have ordained the struggle for freedom.”

      This is why, in postcolonial theory the quest for independence is considered as ‘a fight for a national culture’ and its values, which of course will differ from the culture/values of an oppressor group. Here we might also remember that ‘colonialism has no human values’ (Albert Memmi), involving only continued political and economic exploitation and cultural oppression and marginalisation of ‘a people’.

      Liked by 10 people

      1. Thanks, Alf, that puts it in context. The infuriating thing is that Sturgeon and her cohorts are trading, and being elected, under false pretences. They are gaslighting the Scottish public, while promoting their own agenda, enriching themselves and using their patronage to manipulate others, into the bargain.

        Liked by 5 people

  12. Superb article.

    George Kerevan also had an excellent article in the National this week that highlighted the role of Banking Economist Sir Anton Muscatelli (Glasgow University Principal) as an economic advisor to Sturgeon’s pseudo “Scottish” government.

    I wrote a letter to the National which, naturally, they didn’t publish:

    Once again George Kerevan, the most acute commentator on economics in the land, hits the nail on the head; in particular his observation that Gordon Brown’s decision to favour banking over the real economy has been catastrophic for Scotland.

    We all know where that led, with the destruction of the Royal bank of Scotland – presided over by Fred (“The Shred”) Goodwin – and its bail-out using billions of pounds from the public purse.

    It would be reassuring if the SNP-led Scottish Government had learned from Brown’s mistakes.

    Mr Kerevan informs us that the Scottish Government’s economic advisory council enjoys the services of “noted economist Sir Anton Muscatelli, head of Glasgow University” . He might also have added that Sir Anton is a distinguished BANKING economist, the author of such learned publications as (for example):

    “Optimal Inflation Contracts and Inflation Targets with Uncertain Central Bank Preferences: Accountability Through Independence?”

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1468-0297.00302

    I note Sir Anton’s rare use of the word “independence” in that title.

    What may be less known is that when he was Dean of Social Studies Sir Anton put up Sir Fred for an honorary doctorate at Glasgow in April 2002. In the oration for that award Sir Anton made the following observations on the eminent Sir Fred:

    [See here:

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/cy/request/award_of_honorary_degree_to_fred

    and here:

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/cy/request/8514/response/21940/attach/10/Oration%20p.1%2019.06.2002.pdf?cookie_passthrough=1%5D

    “ Fred Goodwin is acknowledged to be one of the most successful business leaders in the UK”

    Getting into his stride, Sir Anton continues:

    “The informed consensus is that he would have risen all the way to the top of the National Australia Group had the Royal Bank not had the foresight to hire him in 1998. ”

    Some might wish that he had indeed risen to the top of NAG rather than destroy RBS! But perhaps Sir Anton’s most perceptive comment was to follow:

    “Having seen for himself how banking can go spectacularly wrong, Fred Goodwin obviously decided to show the business world how to do it properly – the rest is the stuff of corporate legends”

    Fred certainly did show the business world how to get “spectacularly wrong” “done properly” – and indeed Sir Anton was not wrong about Goodwin becoming the “stuff of legends”.

    Readers might judge for themselves whether the Scottish Government has learned from Gordon Brown’s errors in placing its faith for Scotland’s economic future in banking – and indeed banking economists.

    Yours etc.

    Dr John O’Dowd

    What I didn’t write was: Does anyone ever challenge the idea that a banking ‘expert’ who thought that Fred Goodwin was “one of the most successful business leaders in the UK” and proven so spectacularly wrong in that (even supposing that trying to make a future for Scotland through banking was a good idea) – should be taken seriously as an advisor to the Scottish Government?

    Or anyone else for that matter!

    Liked by 10 people

      1. Ye’re nae wrang there Iain! Millions o oor sillar tae doun-haud us fur their Inglis maisters. A bribe worthy o a parcel o rogues.

        I’ll keep yer offer i’ mind.

        It’s quite clear that there has been a two-pronged coup in the SNP: Front of house, in elected positions, careerists and gougers – displaying the worts aspects of Scottish Labour of old; and behind the scenes, the bankers and their front-men and women ensuring that the devolved administration toes the line, whilst making electorate-appropriate noises to Scottish sensibilities – and just in case, by some accident this shower procure independence, an insurance policy that London and international bankers will still rule our service and extractive residual economy.

        Liked by 7 people

    1. Good one John. Oor self-proclaimed warld cless ‘elite’ universities and their maistly unionist leadership and cultural hegemony, as with most of Scotland’s social institutions, have proved themselves to be absolutely useless in addressing Scotland’s long-term near zero economic growth and under-developed condition of our nation and many of its people, never mind recognising our colonial-determined political/economic and cultural exploitation as the root cause of most of our problems. There is nothing to admire behind the resolute conservatism, flashy symbols and desire for status of Scotland’s colonial/unionist establishment.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Thanks Alf – means a lot – from a real-world economist expert in matters essential to our survival and flourishing after independence.

        But first we need to remove the usurpers and false prophets (or should that be profits?)

        I’d reply in Scots but my blasted spell-checker comes from California!

        Liked by 6 people

    2. Gordon Brown, hailed as ‘the saviour’ after the banking crisis was utterly reckless during the years preceding the GFC. The book ‘Treasure Islands’ by Nicholas Shaxson is a very enlightening read about the relationship between the labour administration and the big corps and big banks. Brown totally sold us out. Of course he has his cushy job in the city now.

      Liked by 4 people

  13. Makes very depressing, yet essential reading from Robin. Add to that, the soaring energy prices and our gas being exported to make record profits for energy prices. Add to that the ensuing sh*t show that is Northern Ireland. One wonders what else is being done whilst we sit in for the next media episode of number 10 parties and the Blackford Files. Scotland is being dismantled before our eyes.

    The political establishment across the uk is a disgraceful mess, yet it seems we are waiting for the same political establishment who are creating our problems to solve them for us. History tells us that the politicians don’t move until the people do. History also tells us that events, some which seem even minor in nature, can lead to massive societal change and I think we may be witnessing such events.

    This should be a golden opportunity for the YES movement to surge forward and campaign like never before, yet extraordinarily we seem to be on the ropes with the Establishment media and better together figures enjoying their free shots as they ridicule the idea of independence. It should be the other way round! WE should be landing the haymakers! What about having to pay private health insurance for our families, not being able to heat our home, at the mercy of the govt funded banks who tripled the cost of putting a roof over our heads.?!

    We still seem to be arguing about who steered us into the iceberg. We are where we are.
    To quote the lyrics of a song – “it’s no what you’ve been given, it’s what you do wi what you’ve got”.

    Yes, the ‘chief’ party of independence seems broken, but what would we do as a movement if a lib/lab coalition got back into power in Holyrood by a quirk of fate? Would that be it? The baw burst. Let’s go home..? Remember we had 6 MPs in WM the last time we were marching for independence.

    I enjoyed listening to Mark McNaught talk to John Drummond on TNT last night – and john is a fantastic interviewer and host. Mark talked about the likely differences and divisions that existed between the different colonies in the lead up to their rebellion against the British empire, yet they found a common goal.

    I don’t agree with all YES groups and representatives across the spectrum- some choose to align themselves with political parties I don’t tend to agree with, and perhaps have a different opinion on routes to independence, yet we need to accept that, and accept these differences in order to move on. This is no longer about waiting for the SNP to fire the starting gun. This has become urgent, and as such we need to decouple ourselves from the political establishment and just ‘do it anyway’. There’s too much at stake now. Folk are suffering now, and it’s only going to get worse for many people.

    You might not agree with the politics of the person marching next to you, but it’s time to take an end of their banner so we can cross the finishing line. The politicians will move if there is an irresistible force from the people- yes they may take the banner up the last few steps and claim victory – but that’s what they do. We need to get over that.

    And what will Scotland be/do upon independence? Thats up to the people of Scotland. That’s the beauty of it – it’s decided by us, not from those across the border who seem to suffer from collective insanity, apathy, or both. This is about self-determination. That’s it. It’s not about the SNP policy on this, or the ALBA policy on that. That’s why the movement must DEMAND an election within the first year of independence. It WILL then be down to EVERY party to set out its stall for an independent Scotland.

    I’m not going to drawn in to defend any political party’s policies, that just gives the opposition a free shot. I’m here because I believe that the Scottish people have the right to determine our futures. That’s what the YES campaign should be all about. That’s our common bond. We don’t know what’s ahead, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Scott I wholeheartedly agree that the PEOPLE must drive this forward and keep on doing so , and even AFTER independence we MUST insist that we keep on doing so because politicians CANNOT be trusted , they are happy when the election is over , they have been elected for 5 years so can add to their pension pot , and the voters can go back to sleep till the next promises (lies) have to be trotted out ,I have advocated repeatedly for 3 year terms in office between elections to CURTAIL the damage these clowns can do to US . I have many more thoughts on holding them to account

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    2. I also had this to say
      You maintain that you are not here to discuss policies of political parties but then decide to threaten and horrify us by introducing the sickening prospect of a lib/lab coalition SG , I personally think you are a SNP member and you are diverting from discussing the absolute clusterbourach and treasonous direction the leader of the SNP has taken us , however

      The one GLARING problem WE ALL have is the absence of a real outspoken commanding leader one who is NOT AFRAID to expose the lies and corruption being foisted on Scots daily, one who is not afraid to publicly raise a crowdfunder to challenge WM on its breaches of the TOU and to expose Sturgeon for the FAKE independence leader she is by NOT doing so , I have never been a member of ANY political party because AFAIC party rules take precedence over democracy , I will enthusiastically participate in any demonstration that gets rid of Sturgeon and promotes Scotland’s independence , but i will not participate in independence marches that Sturgeon apologists and sycophants can hijack as showing support for Sturgeon

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  14. To continue in the colonial theme , the STV Scottish News (ha,ha,ha) reported that the SG were looking at ferry requirements going forward and they interviewed people from Mull to gauge their opinions and responses , they interviewed I think about 4 people all of them english incomers some of them with businesses on Mull , my question is is there still Scots on Mull or is this just a wind up by stv to poke the people , but there does seem a lot of english accents when stv or bbc are out interviewing NORMAL Scots

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  15. Well twathater, you got that horribly wrong. You might want to review some of the other stuff I’ve written on iain’s Blog. I’m not an SNP member. I left – around 2017 when I saw the neoliberal writing on the wall when many on here might still have been saying “trust in Nicola”. I left because I could see then the cosying up to the landed gentry and the banking establishment and the ‘softly, softly’ on Indy.
    I’m a founder member of ALBA, and I can well understand what is going on within the SNP. We can deliberate it, fight to bring them down and we will be in exactly the same place in 12 months time, with the unionist press dancing with glee. I don’t want to be in that position.
    The whole point of using the lib/lab comparison was to highlight my view that the YES movement needs to be more autonomous and insulated from the political establishment.
    I know what pro-Indy parties SHOULD be doing, indeed I asked the question during the assembly a few weeks back about ALBA Representatives approaching EFTA as the SSRG have done.

    Anyway I won’t attempt to justify my position again. I post what I feel – using my real name.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The raising of the lib/lab coalition thing was a joke and THAT would definitely NOT be a joke , I picked up on your wish not to regurgitate or not to continue discussing blaming anyone as a diversionary tactic if I was wrong I apologise , I firmly believe that blame should be apportioned vociferously and repeatedly and irrespective of the unionists ability or non ability to seize on any dissent shown they will do that whether we give them reason or not
      I read all the comments here and elsewhere and I daresay I have probably read many of yours and liked them but like yourself you probably don’t agree with others opinions either , as I have said I am not a member of any party because the current snp and liebour party are examples of what happens when people follow party rules uncritically
      HOWEVER the ONLY goal is renewed independent statehood for Scotland on that we at least agree

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  16. Can’t disagree with any of that, Alf. I do think that the similarities between pre 1916 Ireland and Scotland are now very well delineated. The Irish Independence Party was like the SNP: bedded in at Westminster and part of the establishment. When Redmond died, it was overrun and pushed out of the way. The SNP will suffer the same fate unless it learns the lesson.

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  17. Either Sturgeon is a pure-bred Unionist or WM is using knowledge of her private life to firmly press the thumb upon her actions. Perhaps a little of both. Whatever the reason for her appalling behaviour – the worst being her treatment of Alex Salmond – we simply must remove her (+ friends) from the Scot.Gov. There is no hope for Scotland as long as she wields power. Since our aim is to discard our colonial masters and return Scotland to independence we must do whatever it takes to remove Sturgeon from the Scottish Parliament. True independence Parties should club together and push their hardest – and soon – otherwise it will be too late.

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  18. The lurch from right to right is precisely because the left is sythetic and devoid of economic class analysis. Deranged liberals and leftists hellbent on dividing the people up by scales of oppression and marginalisation, blind to the majority waiting for economic emancipation. This is what happens when you reject Dialectical & Historical Materialism in favour of Liberal Idealism.

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